Séance in Daylight by Yuki Tanaka


by Yuki Tanaka

Winner of the 2018 Frost Place Chapbook Competition
selected by Sandra Lim

ships October 2, 2018

ISBN: 978-1-4951-7882-5
Softcover, 27 pages.

Available on backorder



Séance in Daylight is about desire, transformation, and dreams; it is also about intricate, yet light-footed sessions with the dead. The ever-present undertow of the poet’s sharp observations keeps these lush, yet lapidary lyrics from slipping into solipsism or sentimentality. ‘Back home, my body thin and healthy / cooling my feet on a crystal ball like a psychic out of business,’ says one speaker, returning from an imagined visitation. These poems remind us that at times, life’s very existence feels unbearably inexplicable, beautiful, perverse, moody, and touching. Yuki Tanaka connects these feelings with a spiritual intensity and a sweet wit. His images startle, ‘A bare white arm / disinfected. Plump, sizzling,’ and they pierce into our inwardness, ‘This pile of wood wished to be a stairway / but couldn’t. Will you pretend to climb it.’”
—Sandra Lim

“In Yuki Tanaka’s Séance in Daylight, the poems are streaming with light. Emotions usually obscured in the darkness of loneliness and longing are illuminated, made visible. In these strange imagistic flickerings, a boy in a rabbit skin glints in the night, a horse’s white threads are pulled until it collapses into a man. In Tanaka’s new lexicon of anguish, rain softens a cigarette, the fading blue sea threatens to encrust a diver, and we are asked, ‘Would you like a slice of pear or a slice / of amethyst?’ These poems remind us, the world breaks again and again, but it does not end.”
—Natalie Diaz

Yuki Tanaka was born and raised in Yamaguchi, Japan. His poems have appeared or are forthcoming in The Nation, The New Republic, The Paris Review, POETRY, and elsewhere. His chapbook Séance in Daylight was selected by Sandra Lim for the 2018 Frost Place Chapbook Competition. He has also co-translated, with Mary Jo Bang, The Poetic Experiments of Shuzo Takiguchi 1927-1937. He received an MFA from the Michener Center for Writers at the University of Texas at Austin, and a PhD in English from Washington University in St. Louis. He lives in Tokyo and teaches at Hosei University.

Additional information

Weight .25 lbs
Dimensions 5.5 × 8.5 × .25 in


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